Saumya Misra: Building Path For People To Get Into Their Best Avatar
By entering into an undiscovered territory with her skincare solutions, Saumya Misra, Founder, Avataar Skincare Technologies, an engineer-turned-founder managed to create a brand in just a few months with tech-enabled, non-invasive, and transformational skin and body treatments in her portfolio. What is it that makes her brand so special?
Reliable, effective, and safe solutions leveraging AI and tech extensively to standardize and democratize services in the unorganized laser skincare, body care, and beauty industry.
Prior to founding Avataar, Saumya had an enriching professional profile. Before Avataar, she was with Heidrick & Struggles in a leadership position, where she set up the firm’s consulting business in the Indian market from scratch. Earlier, she worked with Bain & Company where she led several high-impact projects: turning unprofitable clients profitable, leading sales & distribution integration of the largest merger in the history of India, and advising global funds on potential investment opportunities, and more. Even though she had a fulfilling career, her personal experience in the beauty and skincare industry, spanning 7 years, and the desire to bridge the gaps in the Indian beauty market motivated her to give up her promising consulting career. She is charting her own entrepreneurial journey with a strong vision to democratize the most effective and modern skin/body treatments.
Saumya is a woman with her hands full and thriving; she is an excellent mother & wife, and an ambitious entrepreneur leading an aesthetic services brand. Let’s hear more about her journey and how she manages to find a silver lining in her challenging situations.
What has been the motivation behind establishing Avataar Skincare Technologies? What is the vision of the brand?
From a very young age, I faced acne issues which affected my self-esteem and confidence. Several unsuccessful skin treat- ments urged me to take an expensive laser treatment which surprisingly cured my acne and completely transformed my face overnight. I considered myself fortunate enough to go through the treatment but wondered about the people who could not afford such treatments. Since then, I had the desire to make the best of these treatments accessible to every man and woman in the country.
However, I took the plunge much later. It was when I was working with Heidrick & Struggles, I happened to reinvigorate my relationship with a cousin who is one of the largest distributors of derma equipment in India; this allowed me to explore the Derma Aesthetic industry in greater depth. Soon, I started to figure out ways to democratize these treatments; I quit my job and established Avataar with a vision to provide the highest level of the most premium global skin care services at the doorsteps at an affordable price.
What are your primary focus areas in terms of driving Avataar’s growth?
Our current priority is to create awareness about our treatments; to convince people to take a wiser decision of not using temporary treatments but using something that brings a permanent change quickly and is 100 percent safe. For e.g. almost every urban mid-high income level woman ends up spending Rs 4lacs+ in their lifetime to get rid of unwanted hair through waxing which is a temporary, inconvenient, and painful process. We offer permanent hair reduction at 1/10th the amount, and the process is permanent, painless, and safe. Secondly, we focus on creating a trustworthy brand; we have a panel of highly qualified doctors who conduct virtual sessions with our clients, and the service delivery and treatment protocols are all monitored on our app.
"I quit my job & established avataar with a vision to provide the most effective, laser/machine based skin care & body care treatments at doorsteps, at affordable prices"
Our third priority is to make our operations extremely effective, sustainable, and profitable; we already have a very profitable business model and now we want to scale it up dramatically.
Shed some light on the most critical business challenges you face as an entrepreneur. What are the most important milestones that Avataar has achieved so far?
Being new to this space, the biggest challenge that we face is to make customers aware of our solutions and their long-term benefits. Secondly, finding the right talent to lead the brand has been a challenging task as well. Fortunately, we have a team of 25 experienced therapists, doctors, marketers, sales employees, and others, who are driving this business. Besides, since I am running an operational business, to even execute a single treatment, I need to make sure that all the cogwheels are running at the right frequency and at the same time be able to overcome challenges through technology- based interventions. Our consistent efforts have made Avataar a recognizable brand across Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida. The feedbacks that we receive from our customers are incredibly motivating. In the last month, we had a repeat rate of 60+ percent. We have delivered 1000+ services, and we have consistent 5-star reviews. Creating such a large pool of loyal and repeating customers, who are so vocal about how much they love us has been the biggest milestone.
What role has IIM Bangalore played in shaping you as a leader?
IIM gave me the opportunity to explore the business world not only in India but also abroad. The cutthroat competition within the campus shaped my personality, fuelled my ambition, and helped me build a strong network. Besides the management concepts, the life lessons I learned to survive in a very competitive setting were my biggest takeaways from IIMB.
What would be your advice to young women aspiring to become entrepreneurs in the future?
Young women aspirants must develop persistence, and always maintain a positive mental attitude, regardless of any situation in order to achieve success in their endeavours. They should not get discouraged by the voices around them. I am a mother to a three-year-old girl and leading a start-up. But I was only able to take the plunge because I was convinced about my idea and its impact on a large segment of the population. So, anybody who wants to be a successful entrepreneur must have that belief; belief in themselves, their ideas, dreams, and capabilities.
Saumya Misra, Founder, Avataar Skincare Technologies
An Alumunus of IIM Bangalore, Saumya Is the founder of a skincare platform providing people their desired Avataar quickly, safely and permanently, through techdriven, modern skin and body treatments at home.